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Sedona Film Fest presents The Conservation Game’ premiere Sept. 11-15


Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate on captive big cats in America, “The Conservation Game” follows the story of Tim Harrison, a retired cop who makes a bombshell discovery while undercover at an exotic animal auction.  (SIFF/Courtesy)

Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate on captive big cats in America, “The Conservation Game” follows the story of Tim Harrison, a retired cop who makes a bombshell discovery while undercover at an exotic animal auction. (SIFF/Courtesy)


Originally Published: September 7, 2021 4:30 p.m.

The Sedona International Film Festival presents the northern Arizona premiere of the eye-opening and award-winning new documentary “The Conservation Game” showing Sept. 11-15 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, according to a news release.

Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate on captive big cats in America, “The Conservation Game” follows the story of Tim Harrison, a retired cop who makes a bombshell discovery while undercover at an exotic animal auction.

He starts to suspect that America’s top television celebrity conservationists may be secretly connected to the exotic pet trade. What follows is a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, filled with lies, deception, and coverups.

As his investigation leads deeper into the secret world of the big cat trade, Tim and his team take their fight to the halls of Congress, pressing lawmakers to pass federal legislation that would end the private breeding and exploitation of these endangered and majestic animals. But when opposition comes from an unexpected source, Tim is forced to face the demons of his own past, while wrestling with the consequences of exposing his childhood hero.

In the U.S., there are now more tigers in captivity than in their native wild habitats, and the exotic animal market is a multimillion-dollar business that thrives in the shadows of pseudo-sanctuaries, roadside zoos, and private menageries with little or no federal oversight.

At the same time, popular late-night and morning TV shows — from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to Good Morning America — feature special guests like endangered snow leopards and tiger cubs along with their celebrity wildlife experts to educate their audiences about endangered species and the natural world. But despite what the public is told, Tim sets out to discover where these animals actually come from and what happens to them when the cameras and studio lights turn off.

“The Conservation Game” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sept. 11-15. Show times will be 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Sept. 11, 12 and 13; and 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 14 and 15.

Tickets are $12, or $9 for film festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. State Route 89A, in west Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.

Information provided by the Sedona International Film Festival.